Tub Caulk at Tile Base

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by AWD_GS, Oct 16, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Oct 16, 2019 #1

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Hopefully this is the correct forum for this but just looking for a little advice on how to approach recaulking where the my tub meet my tile. Mid August I had all the tile around my tub redone (ie remove all old tile and backer board and installed all new kerdi board and tile (tub remained and was not removed)). Wife was getting a shower last week and I thought I heard a dripping noise and sure enough I was correct. Looked behind the wall to see a slow drip then inspected the tub area and noticed the caulked was cracking. Contacted the contractor who did the work since it is only 2 months old and shouldn’t be cracking like that and no response.

    So I’m looking for suggestion on how to repair the cracked caulk. I assume I would need to remove the cracked area and reapply or can I mask off the area and just add another thin layer on top? Sorry for the amateur question but I just want to make sure this is done right as this bathroom has been nothing but a headache since I’ve moved into this home. I’ve attached a picture of the cracked caulk as well as the caulk that was used. Maybe I need to use a different caulk ‍♂️

    IMG_9313.JPG

    IMG_9344.JPG
     
  2. Oct 16, 2019 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,651
    Likes Received:
    3,330
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    The flange of the tub should be on the wall behind the bottom of the tile. If you are seeing water there you have a problem up the wall somewhere.
     
  3. Oct 16, 2019 #3

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    There is no upturn flange around the tub, it just turns down around all (4) sides. The tile does sit on top (minus a caulk joint) and the tub runs through. I'm thinking with the use of the tub and the movement the tub was getting it possibly just flexed that joint too much causing the crack, at least that's what I'm hoping since I cant get the contractor to get back to me.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2019 #4

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,231
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Looking at the picture it appears that they used grout at the tub/wall transition. Check and see if that is indeed caulk. If it's grout, the flexing of the tub when filled with water and a person could cause the separation I'm seeing in the photo.
     
    Steve123 and AWD_GS like this.
  5. Oct 16, 2019 #5

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Agreed it does and i'm hoping they did not just grout that as the tube of caulk is open and I know they caulked all the vertical inside corners and along the head at the ceiling so I'm hoping they did caulk at the base but it does look oddly similar.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2019 #6

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,231
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'd suggest digging out all the old media, clean the joint really well and apply a new bead of caulk. I would not advise just going over the old stuff.
     
    AWD_GS likes this.
  7. Oct 16, 2019 #7

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thanks! That's what I was thinking as well but just wanted to double check with people who are more familiar with doing things like this. Any recommendations for removing the old caulk? I assume a putty knife would be sufficient? Would it be best to remove along the whole length of the tub or just cut out the damage section? I have a clear liner covering that side of the tub so I dont have to worry about water getting to that joint.
     
  8. Oct 16, 2019 #8

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,231
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    If it were mine, I'd replace all of it.
     
    AWD_GS likes this.
  9. Oct 16, 2019 #9

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thanks! Appreciate the advice!
     
  10. Oct 17, 2019 #10

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

    Contractor retired

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Messages:
    24,651
    Likes Received:
    3,330
    Location:
    Chiliwack BC Canada
    I can't find a link to it but they do make a plastic flange to add to a drop in tub for tile.
     
  11. Oct 17, 2019 #11

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    May 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,004
    Likes Received:
    104
    We moved into this house 5 years ago. The master bath was a jacuzzi tub and shower combo. When we busted out the walls, I discovered there was no lip on the top of the tub, and the walls were so wet and rotten, we had to completely rebuild that wall. We gladly ripped out that tub (which is designed as a surface mount tub only) and installed a stand up shower only. 20190710_155525.jpg 20190711_074740.jpg 20190726_173315.jpg
     
    oldognewtrick likes this.
  12. Oct 18, 2019 #12

    MattinCA

    MattinCA

    MattinCA

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles County

    I am no expert so I will defer to the much smarter members here, but transitions like that are supposed to have CAULK not GROUT. Usually silicone caulk.


    Second, If the transition has GROUT and not CAULK (and it looks like it does in the original picture), the simplest way is to remove it with a grout saw from your local hardware. You can also buy a blade for that purpose for your oscillating tool if you prefer. Remove all the grout from that transition and apply a bead of caulk.


    Third, if the gap between the wall and the tub is more than 1/4" - 1/2" you may want to use a foam backer rod in the space first before installing caulk. You can find plenty of info, YouTube videos, etc. on this.


    Fourth, as mentioned, the original cracking could be caused by minuscule downward movement of the tub when the weight of water and a person are added. The conventional wisdom is to fill the tub with water before caulking to avoid this. You can easily imagine that even a little downward movement of the tub could crack the grout. Silicone caulk has some flexibility, but the downward movement could also cause the caulk bead to break or its bond to the tub or wall to separate, causing leaks again. Filling the tub lets you caulk with the tub already "pushed" down to its low position, then it can "spring" back up when emptied.


    Fifth, when using silicone caulk, you may not be able to do the whole seam on both walls in one swoop, depending on how adept (fast) you are applying the caulk. After applying the bead, you have to smooth the face of the bead before the caulk starts to cure. If you try to apply too much at once, you may not have time to go back and smooth it and it will be hard to work and lumpy (I learned this the hard way the first time I used silicone caulk).


    I learned all this because the guy I bought my house from did the same thing (grouted the transition instead of caulk) when he remodeled the bath. Your original picture could be of MY bath. It's not that hard of a job, it just takes patience. I always watch a lot of YouTube videos before doing a task I have not done before. Good luck, I am sure you can do it.
     
  13. Oct 18, 2019 #13

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    Appreciate the response! It looks like grout but it is indeed the grout caulk to match the grout color. I was curious about this grout caulk and thought it may only be used for tile to tile joints (ie inside/outside corners) and not tile to dissimilar but after looking at the back of the tube yesterday it does show that it can go to dissimilar material and even the product data sheet confirmed that as well

    The joint is not that big, I would say 1/4" max if that.


    Agreed and the tub was filled prior to sealing that joint.


    Im starting to wonder if this was the case here since this is the only location i'm seeing this. I'm wondering if this is a point where the caulking was started/stopped and the bead is not as wide as the rest going down. Nonetheless I plan on removing that section, filling the tub and resealing that section. I'll leave the tub full overnight to help ensure that it cured enough and i'll leave the clear tarp over the wall so no water touches the sealant for a good 48 hours


    Thanks! I also watch a ton of videos as well before tackling a project and I also like to hear first hand from people who have more knowledge on the subjects. I appreciate the thorough response!
     
    nealtw likes this.
  14. Nov 11, 2019 #14

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    AWD_GS

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    *Update*

    So turns out the original caulk is still not holding up. After doing more and more research on the product Keracaulk (siliconised acrylic) is just not holding up to the movement in the tub of everyday use. Thankfully there was a store not too far from me that sold a color match in 100% silicone (Mapesil). Guess i'll take this as a lesson learned and stick with 100% silicone for wet areas like my gut was telling me.
     
  15. Nov 11, 2019 #15

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

    Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    11,231
    Likes Received:
    1,614
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Be sure to remove all the old caulk because silicone won't stick to silicone.
     
    AWD_GS likes this.

Share This Page